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Little Mouse's Big Book of Fearsby Emily Gravett
Synopses & Reviews
Spiders: Little Mouse is afraid of them (arachnophobia).
Shadows: Little Mouse is afraid of those (sciaphobia).
In fact, Little Mouse is afraid of everything. Join her as she faces her fears and records them in her journal - and discovers that even the biggest people are afraid of some things.
"Dystychiphobia, phagophobia, good old acrophobia: everybody's afraid of something — although it does seem that Gravett's (Orange Pear Apple Bear) winsome mouse protagonist has cornered the market on anxieties. Wittily assuming the format of a scrapbook or diary that is filled in by Little Mouse, this book exhorts, 'You too can overcome your fears through the use of art!' A virtually encyclopedic list of fears follows, each on its own page, with plenty of space allotted for Little Mouse's response. Gravett augments these expansive collaged spreads with interactive goodies (a flap, a gatefold, a tip-in of an entire map). For example, when Little Mouse scrawls, 'I don't like being alone, or in the dark,' readers will learn from glancing at the upper-right corner that this feeling is called 'Isolophobia (Fear of solitude).' The opposite page is pitch-black, and Little Mouse eyes it nervously. Other moments are more purely amusing: 'aichmophobia' (the fear of knives) ushers in references to 'Three Blind Mice.' Whether or not they choose to face their own fears, kids will feel that a chord has been struck — and they'll savor spicing up their budding vocabularies. Ages 4 — 8. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
At first glance, this book seems to have led a very hard life: a ragged hole in the cover, dog-eared pages and water-stains galore. All the deliberately designed dings and frazzled edges form a visual metaphor for what anxiety can do to a body. A tiny mouse admits, "I get edgy near sharp knives." The accompanying illustration turns the disastrous docking of the three blind mice into tabloid headlines.... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) Elsewhere, the diminutive rodent whimpers, "I don't like being alone, or in the dark," as it stares slantwise at a coal-black page. Best of all, the double-page spread on which the mouse cries, "I'm scared of getting lost," is a pun-filled fold-out map of the "Isle of Fright." Witty names for these worries — for instance, whereamiophobia — appear across the top of each page, lending a pseudo-scientific cachet to this catalog of fears. Neither condescending nor frightening nor falsely comforting, this gentle book approaches a serious subject with humor and compassion. Too bad the final page settles for the tired old stereotype of a woman jumping on a chair when our hero comes to call. Kristi Jemtegaard is the youth services coordinator for Arlington (Va.) Public Library. She teaches children's and adolescent literature and has served on both the Caldecott and Newbery Committees. Reviewed by Kristi Jemtegaard, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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Little Mouse is afraid of everything, and she records her worries in this large-format picture book. Full of her drawings, doodles, and notes, the nibbled pages unfold to reveal newspaper clippings, a visitor's map of the Isle of Fright, and more. Full color.
About the Author
Emily Gravett lives in Brighton, England, with her partner, who is a plumber, their daughter, and a dog. The plumber fixes things that leak. Their daughter reads a lot, and the dog spends his time eating small scraps of paper that he finds in the wastepaper basket.
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